Format of Original
Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Proceedings of SPIE 4321: Medical Imaging 2001: Physiology and Function from Multidimensional Images, San Diego, CA, (February 17, 2001)
Original Item ID
Animal models and micro-CT imaging are useful for understanding the functional consequences of, and identifying the genes involved in, the remodeling of vascular structures that accompanies pulmonary vascular disease. Using a micro-CT scanner to image contrast-enhanced arteries in excised lungs from fawn hooded rats (a strain genetically susceptible to hypoxia induced pulmonary hypertension), we found that portions of the pulmonary arterial tree downstream from a given diameter were morphometrically indistinguishable. This 'self-consistency' property provided a means for summarizing the pulmonary arterial tree architecture and mechanical properties using a parameter vector obtained from measurements of the contiguous set of vessel segments comprising the longest (principal) pathway and its branches over a range of vascular pressures. This parameter vector was used to characterize the pulmonary vascular remodeling that occurred in rats exposed to a hypoxic (11.5% oxygen) environment and provided the input to a hemodynamic model relating structure to function. The major effect of the remodeling was a longitudinally (pulmonary artery to arterioles) uniform decrease in vessel distensibility that resulted in a 90% increase in arterial resistance. Despite the almost uniform change in vessel distensibility, over 50% of the resistance increase was attributable to vessels with unstressed diameters less than 125 microns.